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Fabric Dye on Cloth Recaros


nerdydorkus
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Hi All,

 

I've picked up a set of VW Recaro LSBs to mate to my 2002.  The problem is they are faded barney purple.  I'm going to make them black.  No funds at the moment for reupholstery, I'm in the middle of a M20 swap.

 

I can't take off the covers, or submerge them so there is some issue with application.

 

I've done some research on dying/painting etc.  I think my best bet its to go with a higher quality dye than Walmart Rit.  And I wanted to avoid the spray cans as I just think paint/dye combo on fabric is a kind of a wacky idea. 

 

So we have Rit, all purpose dye.  No UV protection, poor durability and mediocre adhesion.  Meh.

 

Jacquard Products has some pretty interesting dyes.  Acid (Vinegar) Dye, Basic Dye (Similar to Rit, but better), and iDye Poly.  iDye Poly is made for synthetic fabric, but does not utilize an acid to set. 

 

iDye instructions:

http://www.jacquardproducts.com/assets/jacquard-site/product-pages/dyes/idye/iDye%20Poly%20Instructions_2014.pdf

 

Needs heat, boiling water, salt, constant agitation for 1 hour, then wash with mild detergent.  That method doesn't work so well on car seats, even if I did take off the covers they would probably shrink.

 

So here's my game plan.  Hot water in a spray bottle, salt, iDye.  Saturate a spot, agitate with a rag/brush, apply heat during agitation via heatgun, wipe excess, repeat.  I assume this will probably be an all day job for both seats, as I don't know how many coats/applications I will need.  Then after a couple days, I'll just wipe them down with water and a rag or use my carpet cleaner's upholstery attachment. 

 

Will post pics of the process.

 

Here's a pic of the seats from google, not my actual seats, mine have no rips:

 

 

878542RECAROLSBGTX.jpg

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Well I assume if you are pointing a heat gun at some synthetic material that you just applied dye to, its going to just dry the dye up.  Without the fabric soaking, it isnt going to sink into the material, but instead sit on top.  Resulting in you dying your clothes instead of the seats.  You may have better luck heating the dye with a portable steamer, which would still keep it wet and help with penetration.  No personal experience, just my assumption.  

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Well I assume if you are pointing a heat gun at some synthetic material that you just applied dye to, its going to just dry the dye up.  Without the fabric soaking, it isnt going to sink into the material, but instead sit on top.  Resulting in you dying your clothes instead of the seats.  You may have better luck heating the dye with a portable steamer, which would still keep it wet and help with penetration.  No personal experience, just my assumption.  

 

I do have a wagner steamer, thanks, I'll look into that.  One issue is the dye could possibly ruin the unit, as draining/rinsing the thing is near impossible.

 

Maybe one of those handheld ebay steamers for a one time use wouldn't be a bad idea.

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you won't like the results....it take a hugw amount lot of water to get the dye out after you've soaked the fabric in hot water for at least an hour...and synthetic don't/won't absorb the dye like you're expecting....

 

a better alternative but results will also vary is fabric & carpet dye available off the shelf an your corner auto parts....just be sure you keep brushing it in as it starts to dry or it'll make the fabric stiff

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you won't like the results....it take a hugw amount lot of water to get the dye out after you've soaked the fabric in hot water for at least an hour...and synthetic don't/won't absorb the dye like you're expecting....

 

a better alternative but results will also vary is fabric & carpet dye available off the shelf an your corner auto parts....just be sure you keep brushing it in as it starts to dry or it'll make the fabric stiff

I know VHT makes a black dye I've seen used in E30 applications. Not sure about how well it would work on seats tho'...

 

-Nesset

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you won't like the results....it take a hugw amount lot of water to get the dye out after you've soaked the fabric in hot water for at least an hour...and synthetic don't/won't absorb the dye like you're expecting....

 

a better alternative but results will also vary is fabric & carpet dye available off the shelf an your corner auto parts....just be sure you keep brushing it in as it starts to dry or it'll make the fabric stiff

 

I've been contemplating this also, but the duplicolor stuff is a dye and a coating.  Not too sure I want a coating on the fabric.  If i do go this route, it would be after I try the iDye and that option fails. 

 

I've read some good reviews on the iDye poly doing great work on 100% polyester suits.  Not apples to apples but its the best option out there for synthetic fabric.

 

And I got one of these things that may make quick work of washing/extracting leftover dye.

 

3624.jpg

Edited by nerdydorkus
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The spray paint is probably the way to go. Pick up one can and do a small section on a less conspicuous area. I bet you'll like the result. A few applications, and some roughing it up after it dries to take out the stiffness of dried paint. The liquid dyes, that are rather uncommon from auto venders nowadays used to work well to brighten up the old shaggy colored carpets from the 70s-80s cars, but never too well on the seats. I have been in detailing/car dealing many years, I have done this many times, sure the thought of spray painting seats is weird, but a lot cheaper and quicker than upholstery. And with enough toweling, you may not end up with stains on your clothes. Fred

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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SEM Color Coat™ Aerosols - Color Coat™ is a specialty elastomeric coating formulated to restore or change the color of most vinyl surfaces, flexible and rigid plastics, carpet and velour. Color Coat is not a dye, but a fade resistant flexible and permanent coating.

http://www.semproducts.com/automotive-flexible-coatings/color-coattm-aerosols

Features:

Refinish vehicle interiors and motorcycle seats

Enhance automotive carpet and velour

Superior adhesion, flexibility, and hiding

Will not crack

Quick drying and simple to use

Ready to spray quarts and gallons

50 popular aerosol colors

Mixing system available for endless colors

Application:

Vinyl

Plastic

Carpet

Velour

Properly prepped and primed metal

Properties:

16 oz. Aerosol containers

Coverage: 10 sq. ft.

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Sem doesn't work any better than any dye you'll buy at the corner store....i've used a ton of the stuff....SEM is great because of the abundant color choices that you can buy off the shelf...it's all lacquer based paint with additives

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I recently bought a pair of what looked like nice Recaros from ebay only to discover they were very badly spray can dye'd, I wasn't sure at first what I was going to do, however I noticed some of the crusty sort of black dye was coming off on my hands when I touched them, I then rubbed them with a cloth and more came off. A lot was still left all over the seat so I used some wax cleaner the type you use on bodywork to clean all polish etc off, and it did a great job. The seats had been Tan with White flecks in the material, and what was left after using the cleaner was the brown went black and the white went grey, it is very perminent, nothing comes off, they look very good and the fleck is quite dense, and as an added bonus they match my rear grey seat!

So be careful with the spray dye/paint and be ready to do similar if required, I thought mine were toast, the seller was quite sneaky, however they are structurally the best Recaros I've ever had, so it all worked out well

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